In my text this is given as a correct answer of reported speech:

Me dijo se alegraba de que pudiera ir con ellos a la función.

Why is it not required to have the connector "que" after the word "dijo"? Is it really optional? Shouldn't it be "Me dijo que se alegraba"?

3 Answers 3


I would say your textbook is not correct. At least I would consider it wrong, as I've never heard a sentence like that and I'm sure it's not standard Spanish (though it might be correct in some dialects). Decir plus a full subordinate sentence in this kind of structure is always followed by que, just as you said.

There are some cases where the que is not used before a subordinate in reported speech. One such case is when the subordinate has a verb in the infinitive, for example:

Dijo alegrarse de que...
"He said he was glad that.." (literally: "He said to be glad that...")

Afirmó no saber nada.
"He stated he knew nothing." (lit. "He stated to know nothing.")

This works only if the subject of the verb decir (or whatever) is the same as the subject of the subordinate, of course. Note you cannot say *Me dijo alegrarse; it's simply not done.

Sometimes people do not use que before a subordinate with verbs like pedir or solicitar:

Le solicitamos no diga nada.
"We ask that you say nothing." (lit. "We request you say nothing.")

Pido a usted tenga a bien...
"I ask that you kindly..."

This is reserved for formal requests mostly and cannot be used with most verbs (certainly not with decir).


"Que" is mandatory in this case, as pablodf76 states. The correct statement would be:

Me dijo que se alegraba de que pudiera ir con ellos a la función.

You can omit "que" only if you are quoting, but then you need quotation marks. Thus, you could also say:

Me dijo: "Me alegro de que ...."
He said: "I'm glad that ..."


For comparison, in English, although I haven't seen this documented: In informal writing, there is a style sometimes used, of using quoted speech without quotation marks. You can make it clearer by setting off the quote with a comma and/or starting the quote with a capital letter. I've usually seen this used with short quotes. For example:

The nurse offered me the bedpan. I demurred. She said, Then I'll have to catheterize you. I bit the bullet.

So, I could imagine something like this:

Me dijo, Se alegraba de que pudiera ir con ellos a la función.

But that sentence doesn't have an informal tone, so it seems anachronistic. This might be more realistic:

Me dijo, Se alegraba de que pudiera acompañarlos.

But even if one can do this in Spanish, which I'm not completely certain of, it seems strange for a textbook. Could you tell us the textbook, edition and page number so we can see the context?

  • Problem is from online digital problems to Nueva Prisma, Nivel B2. You need an account to access it. edinumen-eleteca.es Chapter 8, Interactive Activities,Grammar, 2nd Problem.
    – T Mc
    May 7, 2018 at 3:54

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